Studies prove that a well-designed office is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to retain workers and make them more productive. Whether you are looking to procure a brand new office space or revamp your existing office, these tips are invaluable.
1. Space & Size
Yes, size does matter! Would you like to sit in a dark, cramped, ugly & poorly designed office space? You donot need not go overboard and get a cabin the size of a football field, but providing large open spaces clearly improves employee productivity. Ensure that cubicles are well designed to offer optimum breathing space to the executive sitting at the desk. Cabin space for higher level management must be plush and comfortable to inspire better strategies and innovations.
2. Design and Layout
Very often, large spaces are so poorly designed and utilized that they cause a serious dampener on energy levels and the overall spirit of the employee. Colorful cubicles go long way in cheering up someone who spends all day within the confines of a 4×6 space. It is a known fact that this uplifts spirits and keeps stress and depression at bay. Tastefully decorated executive cabins and skillfully designed open spaces for collaboration bring out the best in teams and senior management.
“Let there be light..” Life begins with light just as the day starts with a rising sun, bringing light into our lives. While indoors in an office all day, the right amount of light exposure from large windows and appropriately designed lighting is known to ensure sharper focus amongst workers. In many places the incidence of seasonal affective disorders is drastically reduced by the use of bright lights and adequate exposure to sunlight.
Let’s talk hi-tech first. Broadband connectivity, always-on WiFi access in all the zones including the cafeteria and smoking bays allows the constantly connected internet savvy individual to stay on top of his work every time, anytime, anywhere. Lets not forget low-tech communication. Meeting rooms and conference halls must invite a sense of camaraderie and team spirit by the use of motivational posters and inspiring artwork or paintings.
This is often a most important selling point when it comes to attracting talent to the company payrolls. Many individuals today realize that a large amount of time is spent in traveling considering the growing traffic jams and faraway office spaces. Thus looking for a centrally accessible location in the heart of the city such as CBDs or Central Business Districts always seals the deal, when it comes to attracting top level talent for your company. Wouldn’t you prefer to work for a company that was closer to home as opposed to one that required 2 hour travel times?
6. Employee Feedback
An old trick that still works – If you want to know how to improve effectivity, just ask your employees what they want and give it to them! You could use the office intranet or social media platform to get suggestions. Try an old fashioned anonymous suggestion box if you please or a debate session where people battle it out. Many HR departments usually keep tabs and regularly maintain logs of employee interactions which is annually collated and the data derived goes towards designing better policies. Whether you conduct an in-house study or hire a design consultant, key methods for gathering information offer invaluable feedback. Observing employees on their paths through the office; visiting conference rooms and desk areas every half hour to determine how they are being used; and asking employees to track their own movements and report back on how they spend their time are vital techniques.
7. Privacy & Collaboration
Collaborative spaces should be located close to meeting rooms with easy access to printers, copiers, and fax machines. Instead of isolating employees in single-function departments, create new, cross-functional teams so workers no longer have to walk or send documents back and forth between departments. Share the views and natural light areas with both upper and lower level executives keeping executive cabins at the center of each floor, so workers who spend more time at their desks can also appreciate open spaces by looking out of the windows. This also serves to bridge the divide between the upper echelons and the lower rung work horses.
8. Radical Moves vs Tweaking
Most improvements and adjustments are minor and involve upgrades and add ons. But sometimes there may be major upheavals, process and policy changes that can be rather challenging. Often one may realize that fine tuning and minor tweaks just doesn’t cut it. And should there be a logically derived consensus that a complete change of premise is the only way forward, one must be open to do exactly so. Today office spaces in the metropolitan areas and central business districts is as hard to find as golden geese and magic beanstalks. But with the right consultants involved, and the right guidance, dreams do come true. What do you envision for a better office space today? Tell us and allow us to make your dreams come true.